Wednesday, March 11, 2009

old man winter

I saw great blue herons yesterday afternoon.  They have returned to the rookery in Almond Marsh where they make their summer home.  Their eggs, large and pale blue, will hatch to noisy heron screams and baby heron gurgles in very late April or early May.  Now, they begin housekeeping, readying their nests for later arrivals. 

I thought I saw one standing by a pond over the weekend, but it was raining and I was in a moving car, so I couldn't be 100% certain.  But now I am -- the birds that arrive every year when the water opens have returned.  I remember writing about them before... that the herons return in search of open water at about the same time the paddlers return, bundled up but thrilled to be out on the open water, to experience the flow of blood and the flow of the life-giving water.  Both celebrating the water's release from its icy prison.  And, I am certain, exactly two years later, that his memory flies in on their wings and he, too, soars over the open water. 

I do wonder how those herons are doing after last night, though.  Howling, vicious winds through most of the night blew in their little gift -- a 40 degree temperature drop.  Today's predicted high is freezing; and the winds, expected to die down this morning, are still whipping by.  Several times in the night, the literal whistling of the wind woke me, and the shaking of the tree branches and the rattling of the house made it hard to go back to sleep.  And as the night wore on, the full moon shining through the west-facing bedroom window brightened the room as if it were morning.  

Which is silly, of course.  With the new daylight savings schedule, I have to wake up long before the sun rises.  This morning, the sun began its ascent into the eastern sky, brightening the horizon to a glowing pale blue -- just as the moon set to the west.  Moon-illusion huge and glowing salmo-colored, it hung in the midnight blue sky just long enough to say hellow to the sun, and then disappeared. 

As shall I. 

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